A year ago today, Bernard Madoff confessed to running a "giant Ponzi scheme." "Giant" to the scale of claiming that his investors—from the wealthy to charities, from banks to retired couples— were owed $60 billion that didn't exist. He went from his Park Avenue duplex—and homes in Montauk and Palm Beach—to federal prison in North Carolina.

The Wall Street Journal checks in on Inmate No. 61727-054 at Butner Correctional, where he's serving his 150-year sentence: "He wears khaki prison garb and has been spotted walking on an outdoor track. He plays bocce, chess and checkers. He scrubs pots and pans in the prison kitchen." One inmate said, "To every con artist, he is the godfather, the don."

Another offered, "He looks like the rest of us doing time. He just acts like a normal guy." And the WSJ adds, "Some of Mr. Madoff's fellow inmates suspect he has money hidden somewhere and try to cozy up to him in hopes of learning its location. But correctional officers keep a close watch on Mr. Madoff and don't allow groups to crowd around him."

Madoff's lawyer Ira Sorkin spoke to CNBC about his infamous client, recalling how Madoff called him while he (Sorkin) was at his granddaughter's pre-school and about the hate mail he's received, "We (defense attorneys) play a role of standing between the power of government and those accused of a crime. And unfortunately, too many people don't understand that."